May 2019

Interactive Technology

The definition of information has expanded with the advance of technology. IT professionals design complicated computer networks and info databases. They install applications for those networks and manage databases. They provide engineering of computer hardware, data management, networking and the development and design of software. IT staffers also can manage and provide the administration of the entire computer system.

Information technology is often referred to as “infotech” which is broadly used to define anything used to store, produce or control information. The terms information and technology are referred to as one entity of two processes that rely on each other. Only a few years ago the IT services department of a mid-sized company might well have been one computer guy in a tiny cubicle charged with saving data on magnetic tapes.

That’s a far cry from we now think of as information technology. Now the IT department would be fully staffed with employees working on computers, monitoring servers, and creating database management systems. This is pure information technology at work.

Recently, some have asked whether there is a massive shift in the focus and balance of IT services. The tsunami of businesses now offering their products for sale online has led some to replace the term “information technology” with “interactive technology”.

The difference may be one of degree or of focus. IT traditionally has referred to technology as it applies to managing information. Interactive Technology embraces the user experience and how the customer perceives his technological experience with a business site.

It remains to be seen whether adding interactive to the mix will create a different balance between information and technology. It is more likely the two components will become one experience that focuses on the needs of the site user as well as the need of the owner of a commerce website. While the user is easily transitioning through information provided and the technical tools help him navigate through the info, the site owner may also collect information about the site visitor which is analyzed by other IT programs and used in future marketing campaigns.

Though the balance of information and technology appears to be changing, perhaps it’s time for that to happen. You can reach the point in IT services where information is being manipulated by technology only because it can be done, without much thought as whether doing so contributes to the business. Interactive technology adds a layer of user experience far above the previous requirements to simply store, sort, manipulate and retrieve information.

Latest Technology Invention

What are you talking about? – Archimedes and latest technology invention in the same breath? For those not in the know – Archimedes was the ancient Greek’s most famous mathematician. He was the one who ran through the streets naked yelling “Eureka” (I have found it) when he solved a very important problem while sitting in his bath.

The latest technology invention is this – taking what most probably the latest and using it in a new way. Archimedes had scribed some of his theories on goat parchment somewhere between 287-212 B.C. Amazingly, this parchment has lived on – and in the middle ages a Monk scraped the papyrus and OVERWROTE Archimedes’ writings – (which was probably the best thing to happen – because the writings lived on (covered over) as a Christian prayer book – thus not subject to destruction by anti-science thinkers of the Dark Ages and beyond).

Without getting into the whole story – the manuscript has lived on to this day – where it was purchased at auction for about 2 million dollars, and then very graciously turned over to classicists and old book restorers. It was found that the prayer book had been written over some other writing.

Here is where the latest technology invention comes in. The experts were having trouble reading the underlying script, naturally. A physicist that worked with the Stanford Synchotron Radiation Laboratory – which runs the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center – just happened to get some info on the Archimedes project while at a conference.

This physicist studies spinach! His latest technology invention was studying how determine iron and other elements in spinach. He – through the info he received – found that the ink used by Archimedes would have iron as a base.

The next step was to contact the classicists and restorers of the manuscript and suggest using his tools (the Stanford accelerator) to scan the book like he did his spinach – and the iron content in the ink should stand out (even through the overwriting).

After over four years of preparation – the use of this latest technology invention was accomplished. The scanning of the document is being done as we speak [beginning August 4, 2006]. The results are pretty amazing – and are available online and with a webcam.

This is one of the first instances where classicists and language scholars and physicists (nuclear and other) have worked together on a project such as this. The concept is mind-boggling – two such diverse fields working together to bring one of mankind’s greatest minds back to life with his writings – which have been buried beneath prayers for thousand of years. This is truly a fascinating use of the latest technology invention.